Vygotsky's view on value of peers

29th October 2004 at 01:00
It was refreshing to find the work of Vygotsky mentioned (TES, October 1).

But your authors omit a crucial element by glossing the "zone of proximal development" as "the part of knowledge where (a person) still needs a teacher".

Vygotsky knew that learning was social, and confirmed that a child's peers play an indispensable role in enabling learning. He saw the zpd as "those (mental) functions in the process of maturation...the 'buds' or 'flowers' of development rather than the 'fruits'" and specifically as relating to what a child could do "under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers".

Therefore the practice of ability setting deprives students of the opportunity to learn from peers who may be "more capable" and cultivates educational failure.

Patrick Yarker

Hall Road

Beetley, Dereham

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now